Ferry problems were resolved – Imbert

Yesterday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert gave the assurance that the problems the Galleons Passage encountered during a sea trial in 2017 have been resolved and the vessel was given the highest seaworthiness score by one of the world’s leading and respected classification societies — Lloyd’s Register.

He clarified information on the seven documents he circulated in Parliament last Friday relating to the purchase of the vessel. The minister said a number of newspaper articles made reference to the perceived issues regarding the vessel’s condition but did not publish information contained in Lloyd’s Register pre-purchase condition survey, one of the documents laid in House.

On Monday, Opposition Senator Wade Mark said having perused the documents Imbert supplied to the Parliament, they lacked detailed information and that he could only conclude that it was “a con job of massive proportions” executed on the population by the PNM Government.

Mark also stated that Imbert had submitted only five of 59 pages in the valuation report.

However, Imbert defended that Mark was inaccurate and said he provided the entire valuation report by Schulte Marine Concept, stating that the “footer at the bottom of each page makes it clear it’s four pages long.”

He said under each page, it was clearly marked 1 of 4, 2 of 4, 3 of 4 and 4 of 4.

To avoid traces of doubt, Imbert said when a passenger vessel is being purchased a condition survey report is usually obtained from a classification society that validates and reports the construction of a vessel in accordance with relevant standards.

Having surveyed and classified thousands of vessels for decades, Imbert said Lloyd’s Register did a determination and confirmation of the Galleons Passage seaworthiness.

Imbert cited page 8 of Lloyd’s Register pre-purchase condition of the vessel which had been circulated to all Members of the House last week and stated that “problem with engine vibration and shafting and stern bearing found during the sea trial were solved… Shaft seal temperatures were measured and found satisfactory.”

In responding to Mark’s claims that the vessel was not seaworthy, Imbert said Lloyd’s Register which is the final arbiter on the condition of a passenger vessel gave the Galleons Passage a category one status.

“That is the highest category for all items surveyed. The highest possible score given by Lloyd’s Register.”

Lloyd’s Register examined the hull, deck, superstructure, engines, mechanical, electrical, lifesaving and safety equipment, piping systems, gears, controls and generators of the vessel. The vessel is currently in Cuba where a canopy is being installed on the vehicle deck.

It is expected to travel to T&T by July 10.

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